The complete defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) could actually spark new attacks in the West due to a “terrorist diaspora,” FBI Director James Comey warned on Wednesday.
“Not all of the Islamic State killers are going to die on the battlefield,” Comey explained at a cybersecurity conference at Fordham University, The New York Times reported. “At some point there is going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we’ve never seen before.”
Comey compared the impending destruction of ISIS with the defeat of Afghani rebels by Russian forces in the 1980s and 1990s. Al Qaeda recruited radical Islamic terrorists from the fighters radicalized in Afghanistan. Their planning produced the deadliest terror attack in the United States on September 11, 2001.
“This is 10 times that or more,” Comey declared. “This is an order of magnitude greater than anything we’ve seen before.”
While the FBI director confidently predicted the victory of the military coalition against the Islamic State, he warned that “through the fingers of that crush are going to come hundreds of really dangerous people and they are going to flow primarily to Western Europe.” Some, he added, could end up in the United States.
Comey also said the terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris last year were merely a glimpse of what this impending “terrorist diaspora” would look like. “We in the American counterterrorism business are constantly focused on that — that’s not here yet, but that challenge is going to come.”